Embracing Change is Key to Your Medical Practice's Future Success

March 8, 2014

Ignoring the many changes and challenges your medical practice is facing will lead to your practice's demise.

Over the past several weeks, we have learned much through our experiences with new healthcare laws and changes. From the new health insurance exchanges to Medicare rules and Noridian's mistakes to  workers' compensation fee schedule, the list of issues is rapidly growing.

I'm looking at the past few weeks like that string on your sweater that starts to unravel everything that you have worked so hard to create. It's so easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of tough situations that are thrown at you all at once.

I am trying to remember that these are all just tests of our processes and procedures. If we are feeling some kind of pain, it means something needs to be fixed, changed, or modified.

As I sat down to write this week, I wasn't sure where to start. There's just so much going on that I sort of froze. Writer's block, if you will. I know I typically provide you with tips and ideas that you can quickly and easily implement into your practice. Today, I'm going to take a bit of a different approach.

I speak with so many people who are so afraid of making any changes in their practices that they create a long list of excuses to fall back on. These are the most common:

• My medical billing and coding person is my friend, and she would never let anything happen to my business.
• We've always done it this way and it's worked so far. Things will come back around.
• It's the business and industry of healthcare
• Oh no, I could never switch to an EHR system and a new billing company at the same time

Truth is, when you paralyze yourself, you paralyze your business. Any business will take on the personality of its leader. Do you give away too much such as by reducing copays and allowing employees to be late or leave early all of the time? Or, are you leading with responsibility and accountability? Employees will emulate their leader. You want a strong team, be a strong leader.

Opening yourself up to vulnerability is the first step in making necessary changes in your practice. Being able to admit that things could be better is a great second step.

I believe that hard work often pays off, but smart work will keep you in business. Please take the time to really assess your accounts receivable, your spending, and your staffing.

I know how smart I work, and I've been thrown some doozies these past few weeks. As I sit and type this, I am admitting that I don't know everything. I know that I need to be monitoring areas differently, and I know my staff will back me up with some great ideas.

Take the time today to step outside of your comfort zone, and really take a look at your practice and your processes. You will only thank yourself.